Privacy is not simply an individual right or civil liberty; it is a vital component of the social contract between Canadians and their government. Without privacy, without protective boundaries between government and citizens, trust begins to erode. Good governance requires mutual trust between state and citizen. Otherwise, alienation and a sense of inequality begin to spread, circumstances under which no program for public scrutiny can be tenable or effective in the long term. Where citizen trust hits a low point, in fact, such security measures may be undermined, ignored, circumvented – or in the most egregious cases – passively or actively resisted.
* Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, “A Matter of Trust: Integrating Privacy and Public Safety in the 21st Century”